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September 11, 2014     Lovell Chronicle
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September 11, 2014
 

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6 I The Lovell Chronicle I September 11, 2014 New program stimulates senses and soothes dementia patients BY PATTI CARPENTER New Horizons Care Center resident Karene Wagner plays the piano whenever the spirit moves her, and she plays beauti- fully. Sadly, it's one of the few things she remembers how to do, because demen- tia has robbed her of many of her memories and has also taken away her ability to live independently. According to Care Cen- ter nurse supervisor Mi- chelle Horrocks, dementia is a general term for a de- cline in mental ability se- vere enough to interfere with daily life. It's a com- mon symptom of Alzhei- mer's and many other dis- eases of aging. Memory loss is a typical example. Other symptoms include aggression caused, in part, by the frustration of not be- ing able to perform every- day tasks. Wagner lives in a spe- cial "unit" at the New Hori- zons Care Center designat- ed for patients suffering from dementia. The unit is considered one of the best in the state, providing a safe environment for pa- tients who, due to Alzhei- mer's and other diseases, present dementia as a ma- jor symptom. According to activities director Emily Hart the latest research shows that stimulating a patient's senses like sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch actu- ally helps calm the feelings of frustration many demen- tia patients feel and often- times decreases aggressive behavior that is often an accompanying symptom. "It's a change of culture for the residents, as well as the staff," explained Hart. "So, it's important that we are all on board with this new program." The program went into effect on July I in the de- mentia unit and residents are already seeing bene- fits of the new approach to their care. It is now be- ing implemented through- out the Care Center, which takes a resident-centered approach to patient care, making the needs of pa- tients a priority over the convenience of staff. "We broke it down so we weren't just implement- ing this massive program in the whole Care Center at one time," explained Hart. "We wanted to make sure it would succeed, so we start- ed here on the unit because we felt it was the most im- portant place to begin." Staff began implement- ing the program in all units at the Care Center on Sept. 1. The goal is to reduce the symptoms of aggression without the use of medica- tion and to increase the pa- tient's sense of well-being. "The program typical- ly utilizes all of a patient's senses to either stimulate, de-stimulate or keep the patient calm," said Hart. "Each patient has a spe- cific, individualized plan. The plan takes into ac- count what the patient will respond to. For example, manY are homemakers and PATti CARPENTER An assortment of dolls is kept in the activity room at the Care Center for residents who suffer from dementia as a way to stimulate their memories. This type of sensory program is calming and appears to raise their spirits. enjoy routine tasks like folding laundry, matching socks or baking bread." "The smell of baking bread is soothing to former homemakers, who think they are still homemak- ers," said Hart. "They like to fold laundry, dust and wipe tables down. It gives them a sense of purpose and it takes them back to tasks that they are still ori- ented with." The center also offers, "doll therapy" for residents who like holding and tak- ing care of babies. "They can come in here (the activities room) when- ever they want to handle the dolls or to fold laundry or whatever," said Hart. "We have one resident who likes to put three dolls in her walker and gives them a ride around the unit." Hart said that allow- ing residents to participate in or observe cooking in the afternoon actually stim- ulates taste and helps in- crease their appetite. "We made apple pie a few weeks ago and some of the residents helped cut up the apples," said Hart. "We're not introduc- ing anything they don't al- ready know; essentially we are allowing them to use skills they have used all of their lives. "For some of our gen- tlemen residents, who love to fix things, we offer sen- sory items that allow them to touch and take things apart, like model kits for cars, boats and even air- planes. Some of our gentle- men really enjoy working with these very basic kits." Reigniting memories of these basic skills has already proven to have a calming effect. Horrocks said the staff is already seeing the benefits after only a month. She said this is much quicker than expected. Hart elaborated that staff has already discov- PATti CARPENTER Care Center nurse supervisor Michelle Horrocks enjoys listening to New Horizons Care Center resident Karene Wagner play the piano. Wagner, who suffers from dementia, benefits from rekindling memories of skills she acquired during her lifetime. ered that when some pa- tients feel agitated, they are calmed by the simple task of matching socks or other routine tasks. "When you have de- mentia, the synapses in your brain deteriorate," ex- plained Hart. "You can't connect the dots anymore. So when you're able to bring the patient back to skills they already know, they are not as confused. Oftentimes, this makes them feel less angry. It is taking them back to a place that they know, a calming place, a place that brings up positive memories and feels like home. "When people come in here, their whole lives have changed. Though their dis- ease has changed them, they are still capable of do- ing some everyday things. Sometimes the mark is missed on that in an over- all healthcare setting. In some centers, the think- ing is that they are here now and we have to change their entire lifestyle, but the question is, do we have to? Why not let them fold laundry if it makes them happy." New federal regula- tions are now requiring that care centers limit the amount of medication ad- ministered to treat aggres- sive behavior in dementia patients. Horrocks said the new program has already allowed medical staff to de- crease the amount of med- ication administered to de- mentia patients who show aggressive tendencies, of- fering a simple solution that not only complies with the regulations but also helps patients experience a better quality of life. [GRANT WRITING CLASS ] September, 20, 2014 9 AM- 1 PM Weed & Pest Building 4782 Hwy 310, Greybull I I I I= $20 class fee I To sign-up call: 307-684-5544 I I SPONSORED BY BHC CHAMBERS .I 00_00ook 6' 'Cu00nin00 Come in to Big Horn Federal and wish Colleen a Happy Birthday on Thursday, Sept. 11! 1.800.354.2911 tctwest.net Thank You Bill A.D Linda Miller - Miller's Fabrication (' for purchasing my FFA market lamb '" Q . at the Big Horn County Fair. ..]:> Your support is greatly appreciated. ' -',r Ashley Miller, Pamtrock FFA gO. Lovell Cancer Support Group he Ore, am 00oeial Tkam&u 3, Sept. 18, 0l 4, 7 p.m. Multipurpose Room NEW HORIZONS CARE CENTER 307-548-5200 1115 Lane 12, Lovell,WY ' Facebook'' www.nbhh.com anizational meeting for the coming year. Bring your ideas and program suggestions. Come and enjoy some ice cream! Cancer patients, Care givers, Family members, Survivors ... Everyone is welcome. County and the Election Jud f Byron would like to thank the Byron /for the wonderful meals provided during the Election. Your generosity thoughtfulness is reatly appreciated. NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING Deaver 2014 Water Meter and Service Pit Replacement Project Town of Deaver 120 1 st Avenue West, Deaver, WY The Town of Deaver will conduct a special meeting on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at Deaver Town Council Chamber. The Town of Denver intends to use funds from the Wyoming Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund administered by the Wyoming office of State Lands and Investments. The Town of Denver will have the preliminary design of the proposed project and discuss the estimated cost of the improvements. Based on current estimates, the Town of Denver will borrow $260,091.00 from the Wyoming Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund, of which $130,045.50 will be forgiven upon project completion and $130,045.50 will be repaid over 20 years with no interest. Increased user fees will repay the loan. The average rate increase will be $5.59 per water user per month for 20 years. A preliminary plan of improvements and estimates can be reviewed at 120 1st Avenue West. The Town of Denver phone number is 307-664-2736. Written comments are also welcome and must be received by Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Send written comments to Vana Camp, Town Clerk, Town of Deaver, RO. Box 207, Deaver, Wyoming 82421.